Still time to reform the Euro Area? Political union with civil society participation is key to achieving this

Joost van Iersel, President of the ECO section, and Carmelo Cedrone, rapporteur on EMU, participate in a public conference organised by the Greens in the European Parliament

On 17 November 2016, the ECO President, Joost van Iersel, was invited to speak in a public conference in the European Parliament, debating the Greens' proposals for a reform of the euro area set-up. Mr van Iersel was accompanied by Carmelo Cedrone, EESC rapporteur on EMU. A number of other high-level speakers also addressed the conference, including Wolfgang Munchau, José Leandro, Frank Vandenbroucke, Sebasten Godinot, Veronica Nilsson and Gerhard Huemer.

In his statement, the ECO President gave an overview of the EESC's position and activities in the field of EMU. In particular, he recalled the two milestone opinions on completing EMU, which the Committee had crafted with a large consensus in 2014 and 2015 respectively, and briefly presented the four pillars on which the EMU should be built according to the EESC: a monetary and financial pillar, an economic pillar, a social pillar and a political pillar. He emphasised the aspects related to democratic legitimacy in the process of EMU deepening and the need for greater civil society participation in, and ownership of, the decision-making process at all levels. Finally, he praised the Greens for their initiative and concluded that the EESC shares a great deal of their views on the completion of EMU.

The conference chair Philippe Lamberts, Co-President Greens/EFA Group, agreed with Mr van Iersel and stressed the fact that the Greens have always been in favour of more civil society participation in economic decisions.

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